Compensation systems are an integral part of the relationships organizations establish with their employees. For many years, researchers viewed pay systems as an efficient way to bring market-like labour exchanges inside organizations. This view suggested that only economic considerations matter for understanding how compensation systems effect organizations and their employees. Advances in organizational research, particularly those focused on issues of justice and fairness, suggest that the fully understanding the outcomes of compensation systems requires examining their psychological, social, and moral effects.
A leading cognitive scientist argues that a deep sense of good and evil is bred in the bone. From John Locke to Sigmund Freud, philosophers and psychologists have long believed that we begin life as blank moral slates. Many of us take for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society—and especially parents—to transform them from little sociopaths into civilized beings. In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with (...) a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research at Yale, Bloom demonstrates that, even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others’ actions; feel empathy and compassion; act to soothe those in distress; and have a rudimentary sense of justice. -/- Still, this innate morality is limited, sometimes tragically. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Bringing together insights from psychology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, violent psychopaths, religious extremists, and Ivy League professors, and explores our often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion, and race. In his analysis of the morality of children and adults, Bloom rejects the fashionable view that our moral decisions are driven mainly by gut feelings and unconscious biases. Just as reason has driven our great scientific discoveries, he argues, it is reason and deliberation that makes possible our moral discoveries, such as the wrongness of slavery. Ultimately, it is through our imagination, our compassion, and our uniquely human capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies. -/- Paul Bloom has a gift for bringing abstract ideas to life, moving seamlessly from Darwin, Herodotus, and Adam Smith to The Princess Bride, Hannibal Lecter, and Louis C.K. Vivid, witty, and intellectually probing, Just Babies offers a radical new perspective on our moral lives. (shrink)
The strong word and stance issue only from a strict will, a will that dares the error of reading all of reality as a text, and all prior texts as openings for its own totalizing and unique interpretations. Strong poets present themselves as looking for truth in the world, searching in reality and in tradition, but such a stance, as Nietzsche said, remains under the mastery of desire, of instinctual drives. So, in effect, the strong poet wants pleasure and not (...) truth; he wants what Nietzsche named as "the belief in truth and the pleasurable effects of this belief." No strong poet can admit that Nietzsche was accurate in this insight, and no critic need fear that any strong poet will accept and so be hurt by demystification. The concern of this book, as of my earlier studies in poetic misprision, is only with strong poets, which in this series of chapters is exemplified by the major sequence of High Romantic British and American poets: Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Tennyson, Browning, Yeats, Emerson, Whitman, and Stevens, but also throughout by two of the strongest poets in the European Romantic tradition: Nietzsche and Freud. By "poet" I therefore do not mean only verse-writer, as the instance of Emerson also should make clear. Harold Bloom is DeVane Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. This article is the first chapter of his new book, Poetry and Repression, to be published by the Yale University Press. The book completes a tetralogy, of which the earlier volumes are The Anxiety of Influence, A Map of Misreading, and Kabbalah and Criticism. See also: "Formalism, Savagery, and Care; or, The Function of Criticism Once Again" by Jerome J. McGann in Vol. 2, No. 3; "The Poet as Elaborator: Analytical Psychology as a Critical Paradigm" by David D. Cooper in Vol. 6, No. 1. (shrink)
In this paper Bloom analyzes the popular magazine, Men's Health, from a feminist perspective, locating ways that the magazine participates in an insidious form of anti-feminist backlash. She specifically analyzes the magazine to make sense of how its writers discursively position women in their relationships to heterosexual men and how they use the voices of women who call themselves feminists to promote an anti-feminist, pro-patriarchy agenda. She demonstrates that the “health” of men being promoted in this magazine is a (...) mental health grounded in the maintenance of male privilege and power. (shrink)
What sorts of things qualify as first principles of reasoning and what kind of justification for them can be offered? We think of principles like that of non-contradiction as first principles of reasoning. Laurence Bloom argues that Plato’s Republic, the first text that affords us a complete statement of the Principle of Non-contradiction, offers us a powerful, complex and detailed argument for taking form—specifically that of the good—as the first principle of both knowing and being.
Many people have argued that the evolution of the human language faculty cannot be explained by Darwinian natural selection. Chomsky and Gould have suggested that language may have evolved as the by-product of selection for other abilities or as a consequence of as-yet unknown laws of growth and form. Others have argued that a biological specialization for grammar is incompatible with every tenet of Darwinian theory – that it shows no genetic variation, could not exist in any intermediate forms, confers (...) no selective advantage, and would require more evolutionary time and genomic space than is available. We examine these arguments and show that they depend on inaccurate assumptions about biology or language or both. Evolutionary theory offers clear criteria for when a trait should be attributed to natural selection: complex design for some function, and the absence of alternative processes capable of explaining such complexity. Human language meets these criteria: Grammar is a complex mechanism tailored to the transmission of propositional structures through a serial interface. Autonomous and arbitrary grammatical phenomena have been offered as counterexamples to the position that language is an adaptation, but this reasoning is unsound: Communication protocols depend on arbitrary conventions that are adaptive as long as they are shared. Consequently, language acquisition in the child should systematically differ from language evolution in the species, and attempts to analogize them are misleading. Reviewing other arguments and data, we conclude that there is every reason to believe that a specialization for grammar evolved by a conventional neo-Darwinian process. (shrink)
The uniquely human emotion of disgust is intimately connected to morality in many, perhaps all, cultures. We report two studies suggesting that a predisposition to feel disgust is associated with more conservative political attitudes, especially for issues related to the moral dimension of purity. In the first study, we document a positive correlation between disgust sensitivity and self-reported conservatism in a broad sample of US adults. In Study 2 we show that while disgust sensitivity is associated with more conservative attitudes (...) on a range of political issues, this relationship is strongest for purity-related issues—specifically, abortion and gay marriage. (shrink)
Despite its considerable intellectual interest and great social relevance, religion has been neglected by contemporary develop- mental psychologists. But in the last few years, there has been an emerging body of research exploring children’s grasp of certain universal religious ideas. Some recent findings suggest that two foundational aspects of religious belief – belief in divine agents, and belief in mind–body dualism – come naturally to young children. This research is briefly reviewed, and some future directions..
Two studies demonstrate that a dispositional proneness to disgust (“disgust sensitivity”) is associated with intuitive disapproval of gay people. Study 1 was based on previous research showing that people are more likely to describe a behavior as intentional when they see it as morally wrong (see Knobe, 2006, for a review). As predicted, the more disgust sensitive participants were, the more likely they were to describe an agent whose behavior had the side effect of causing gay men to kiss in (...) public as having intentionally encouraged gay men to kiss publicly— even though most participants did not explicitly think it wrong to encourage gay men to kiss in public. No such effect occurred when subjects were asked about heterosexual kissing. Study 2 used the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Nosek, Banaji, & Greenwald, 2006) as a dependent measure. The more disgust sensitive participants were, the more they showed.. (shrink)
According to models of objectification, viewing someone as a body induces de-mentalization, stripping away their psychological traits. Here evidence is presented for an alternative account, where a body focus does not diminish the attribution of all mental capacities but, instead, leads perceivers to infer a different kind of mind. Drawing on the distinction in mind perception between agency and experience, it is found that focusing on someone's body reduces perceptions of agency but increases perceptions of experience. These effects were found (...) when comparing targets represented by both revealing versus nonrevealing pictures or by simply directing attention toward physical characteristics. The effect of a body focus on mind perception also influenced moral intuitions, with those represented as a body seen to be less morally responsible but more sensitive to harm. These effects suggest that a body focus does not cause objectification per se but, instead, leads to a redistribution of perceived mind. (shrink)
Are current theories of moral responsibility missing a factor in the attribution of blame and praise? Four studies demonstrated that even when cause, intention, and outcome (factors generally assumed to be sufficient for the ascription of moral responsibility) are all present, blame and praise are discounted when the factors are not linked together in the usual manner (i.e., cases of ‘‘causal deviance’’). Experiment 4 further demonstrates that this effect of causal deviance is driven by intuitive gut feelings of right and (...) wrong, not logical deliberation. Ó 2003 Published by Elsevier Science (USA). (shrink)
Many people have a strong intuition that there is something morally objectionable about playing violent video games, particularly with increases in the number of people who are playing them and the games' alleged contribution to some highly publicized crimes. In this paper,I use the framework of utilitarian, deontological, and virtue ethical theories to analyze the possibility that there might be some philosophical foundation for these intuitions. I raise the broader question of whether or not participating in authentic simulations of immoral (...) acts in generalis wrong. I argue that neither the utilitarian, nor the Kantian has substantial objections to violent game playing, although they offer some important insights into playing games in general and what it is morally to be a ``good sport.'' The Aristotelian, however, has a plausible and intuitive way to protest participation in authentic simulations of violent acts in terms of character: engaging in simulated immoral actserodes one's character and makes it more difficult for one to live a fulfilled eudaimonic life. (shrink)
What would it be like to have never learned English, but instead only to know Hopi, Mandarin Chinese, or American Sign Language? Would that change the way you think? Imagine entirely losing your language, as the result of stroke or trauma. You are aphasic, unable to speak or listen, read or write. What would your thoughts now be like? As the most extreme case, imagine having been raised without any language at all, as a wild child. What—if anything—would it be (...) like to be such a person? Could you be smart; could you reminisce about the past, plan the future? (shrink)
There are two facts about word learning that everyone accepts. The ﬁrst is that words really do have to be learned. There is controversy over how much conceptual structure and linguistic knowledge is innate, but nobody thinks that this is the case for the speciﬁc mappings between sounds (or signs) and meanings. This is because these mappings vary arbitrarily from culture to culture. No matter how intelligent a British baby is, for instance, she still has to learn, by attending to (...) the language of the people around her, that rabbits are called ‘rabbits’, that sleeping is called ‘sleeping’, and so on. (shrink)